NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Minister in talks over Northern Isles ferry row

Orkney and Shetland council leaders are to meet the transport minister after they rejected proposals to cut ferry services to the Northern Isles.

The talks come after the government's decision to extend cheap fares in the Western Isles at a cost of £6.5m.

That announcement was made hours before a deadline for submissions on £1m of cost saving measures for Northern Isles ferry services.

The Lib Dems had accused the government of favouritism to the Western Isles.

Shetland Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott claimed the move was an attempt to buy votes in the Western Isles and called for Stewart Stevenson to resign.

Transport Scotland said residents in Orkney and Shetland already received a significant discount in fares and government funding for the Northern Isles ferry routes this year was more than £36m.

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